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7 Risks that SMB retailers face on a regular basis

Will it be too much to say that retail sector is undergoing a complete overhaul? Well, companies are making constant endeavors to ensure that they survive and are delivering the best user experience. Technology has played a crucial role in transcending the industry from just a round-the-corner store to everyone’s fingertips on a smartphone.

However, technology has had its own share of pitfalls and risks associated with it. Let us look at the top 7 risks associated with retail technology that can be a roadblock, particularly for the SMB segment

1. Security Breach
We have heard a lot about security breaches happening with larger retail companies. Hence, it is a matter of deep concern for small players. Define security access at the store level and ensure that the information is accessible to those employees who need it.

2. Labor
Even though technology has had its share of the pie, manual intervention is definitely needed in the sector. However, in this competitive world, it is very difficult to find the right employee. The best in this business are usually employed by the large players.

3. Suppliers & Vendors
Maintaining a strong relationship with suppliers and vendors is a very crucial thing. Having a sour relationship with your supplier can result in a situation where you end up paying an exorbitant price for the material. The best way to mitigate this risk is to have backups.

4. Regulations
With changing economic conditions, new regulations are put in place. This can work either in favor or against the retailer. It’s better to be connected with industry organizations and groups that can enlighten you with the required information and keep yourself abreast with the regulations and policies across all levels.

5. IT Systems – Implementation & Maintenance
Yes, technology is very important but what is even more critical is to have the right systems in place and to ensure that it is maintained efficiently. You need to select the right system and get it implemented, to ensure that it brings a positive return on the overall business operations.

6. Financing Options
New technology implementation does not come cheap; there is a premium involved. It is better to evaluate all financing options. Speak with your bank; ensure a healthy relationship with your bank.

7. Economic Conditions
Just like any other business, the retail sector also faces the brunt of the economic downslide. It is imperative for store owners to be on top of local news and keep a rain check on what is happening in the neighborhood, in the country – which may impact their business. Another way to reduce the impact of economic situations on business is by having a diverse base of customers.

Being in the retail space is not an easy task. A sector that is controlled by the customer today has to be on its toes, otherwise, companies can easily lose out on customers. This is the biggest risk that any retailer faces in today’s business scenario.

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